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India: Citizens Statement in Support of Teesta Setalvad (15 July 2015)

15 July 2015

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MEDIA RELEASE

STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF TEESTA SETALVAD

We the undersigned express our profound dismay and disquiet at the continued official harassment by the central government of leading human rights defenders Teesta Setalvad and Jawed Anand. Since the installation of the BJP led government in Delhi in May 2014, the country has witnessed open strenuous official efforts to foist a large variety of charges of financial irregularity on them, to harass them, to tarnish their reputations, and to secure their arrests. Fortunately the interventions of the higher judiciary have protected them so far. However the latest raids by the Central Bureau of Investigation into their home and offices in Mumbai on 14 July 2015 are signs of continuing open misuse of official bodies to harass these human rights defenders.

It is well-known that Teesta Setalvad and Jawed Anand have fought an unrelenting battle not only to bring to book criminals who committed gruesome hate crimes against Muslims in the carnage of 2002, but also to expose the role of the Gujarat government in enabling, abetting and even organising these crimes. They have been fearless in charging the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who is currently the country’s Prime Minister, with direct criminal culpability for these crimes. For this they have assisted the widow of a former MP who was slaughtered in the carnage Zakia Jafri to fight a brave court battle in which the first accused is the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi. They are also appealing against court orders to free on bail prominent political leaders of the BJP convicted of the worst massacre in Naroda Patiya, Maya Kodnani and Babu Bajrangi.

What we are witnessing is crude and defiant misuse of official bodies to beat down these human rights defenders so as to silence their voices, break their morale and divert them from their unrelenting battles in defence of justice which charge the country’s current leadership with complicity in hate crimes. The veracity of their charges will be decided in the country’s courts. But their right to fight for justice on behalf of the survivors of one of the most shameful communal carnages in the history of free India is protected by India’s democracy. The open official bullying of courageous human rights defenders even as persons charged with a range of serious crimes walk free are brazen official attempts to diminish Indian democracy. These must be powerfully resisted by all democratic voices in the country.

Released by

Shabnam Hashmi, ANHAD

July 15, 2015 5pm

Endorsed by:

Abhay Shirekar, St. Michael’s Church, Vasai, Maharashtra
Ajaya Kumar Singh, Social Activist, Odisha Forum for Social Action, Bhubaneswar
Ajith Pillai, journalist
Amar Kanwar, Filmmaker, New Delhi
Amit Bhaduri, Prof Emeritus, JNU, New Delhi
Amit Sengupta, Journalist and academic
Amita Buch, academician, Gujarat
Anil Nauriya, advocate, Delhi
Anu Chenoy, Professor, JNU
Anubha Rastogi, lawyer, Mumbai
Apoorvanand, academician, Delhi
Arshia Ahmed Ayub, Counselling psychologist
Aruna Roy, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS)
Arundhati Dhuru NAPM
Ashis Nandy, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi
Ashok Bikram Jairu, Executive Director, NNSWA Central Office, Kanchanpur
Atul Sood, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
Ayaz Siddiqui Communication engineer
Battini Rao, People’s Alliance for Democracy and Seculariam (PADS)
Bhavna Ramrakhiani, ACF, Gujarat
Biju Mohan, Executive Director, MBL Media School, Kozhikode
Brinelle D’Souza, School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences. Deonar, Mumbai
BRP Bhaskar, journalist, Kerala
C Drego, Private Employment, Mumbai, Maharashtra
D. W. Karuna, Historian, Chennai
Darryl D’Monte, Chairperson, Forum of Environmental Journalists of India (FEJI)
Dhirendra Panda, Convener, Civil Society Forum on Human Rights (CSFHR)
Dinesh Abrol, Delhi
Dilip Simeon
Dinesh Mohan, Professor IIT Delhi (Retired)
Dr Indra Munshi, Former Head and Professor, Dept of Sociology, University of Mumbai, Tauseef H. Mukadam, Profession: Airline Pilot, Karnataka
Dr. Abey George, State Coordinator, NCPRI Kerala
Dr. Anant Phadke, Pune
Dr. Mohan Rao , Professor, Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health, JNU
Dr. Munish Alagh. Profession: Economist, Ahmedabad
Dunu Roy, Engineer, Hazards Centre, Delhi
Faiz Siddiqui Bank executive
Farah Naqvi, Writer and Activist, Delhi
Fr Maverick Fernandes, President, Council for Social Justice and Peace, Goa
Fr Savio Fernandes, Executive Secretary, Council for Social Justice and Peace, Goa.
Fr. Cedric Prakash sj, Director, PRASHANT, Gujarat
Fr. Freddy Braganca, General Secretary, Centre for Responsible Tourism, Goa
G.M. Sheikh, Artist, Gujarat
Gabriele Dietrich, NAPM I endorse this statement
Gautam Thaker, General Secretory PUCL Gujarat
Geeta Kapur, Independent Art Writer, Delhi
Geeta Seshu, Journalist, Mumbai, Maharashtra
Ghanshyam Shah, academician, Gujarat
Ghiasuddin Akbar, Member ; Apna Watan & Help Hyderabad.
Githa Hariharan, Writer
Hanif Lakdawala, Social Activist, Gujarat
Harsh Kapoor,
Harsh Mander, Aman Biradari
Henri Tiphagne, National Working Secretary , Human Rights Defenders Alert India
I A Siddiqui Retd engineer
Indira Chandrasekhar, Tulika Books, Delhi
Indira Jaising, Founder, Lawyer’s Collective, Delhi
Indu Prakash Singh, Social Activist, Forum Against Corruption & Threats (FACT)
Irfan Engineer, All India Secular Forum
Ishwarbhai Prajapati, Jan Sangharsh Manch,Ahmedabad, Gujarat
Jaya Mehta (Sandarbh Collective, Indore)
Jayati Ghosh, Professor of Economics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
Jharna Pathak, Profession: Researcher, Ahmedabad Women’s Action Group.
John Paul Lobo, De Nobili College, Nagar Road, Ramvadi, Pune
Joy Sengupta, actor, Mumbai
Jyoti Punwani freelance journalist Mumbai
Kalyani Menon-Sen , Feminist Learning Partnerships, Gurgaon
Kamal Chenoy, Prof. JNU
Kamal Faruqi, FCA, Former Chairman Delhi Minorities Commission
Khalid Azam (United States)
Kiran Shaheen, Writer and Anti Poverty Activist
Kumar Prashant, journalist, sarvodaya activist
Lena Ganesh, Mumbai, Maharashtra.
Mallika Sarabhai, ARTIST, Gujarat
Manan Trivedi, social activist, Gujarat
Manisha Sethi, Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association.
Mazher Hussain, Social Activist, Hyderabad
Meenakshi Ganguly, Mumbai
Meera Samson, Collaborative Research and Dissemination, New Delhi
Meher Engineer, Independent Scientist, Kolkata, WEst Bengal
Mohammed Ashfaq
Mohd Aamir, social activist, Delhi
Mujahid Nafees, Education activist, Gujarat
Myron J. Pereira , former director of Xavier Institute of Communications, Mumbai)
N.D.Jayaprakash, Social Activist, Delhi
Nandini Rao, women’s rights activist
Nandini Sundar, Professor, Delhi University
Naresh Fernandes, Journalist.
Neeraj Jain, Lokayat, Pune and Socialist Party (India)
Naseeruddin Shah theatre and film actor and director
Nasreen Fazalbhoy, Mumbai Maharashtra.
Neha Shah, College teacher, Ahmedabad
Nikhil Dey, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS)
Nilima Shaikh, artist, Vadodara, Gujarat
Noorjahan Diwan, social activist, Gujarat
Noorjehan Safia Niaz, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan
Ovais Sultan Khan, People’s Alliance for Democracy and Secularism
P. K. Datta - Teacher- Delhi University - Delhi
Pallab Sengupta, General Secretary, All India Peace and Solidarity Organisation
Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, Journalist, Delhi
Prabhat Patnaik, Professor Emeritus, JNU.
Prabir Purkayashta
Priya Pillai, Environmental Activist , Greenpeace India.
Prof Aditya Mukherjee, Historian, JNU
Prof Mridula Mukherjee, Historian, JNU
Prof Rooprekha Verma, Saajhi Duniya’s , Former VC, Lucknow University
Prof. Shohini Ghosh, Academic, Delhi.
Pushpa Iyer, Associate Profesor, California.
Pyoli, Samajwadi Janparishad
Radha Khan, Chairperson & Trustee DAJI , New Delhi
Rahul Pandey, entrepreneur and academic,Bangalore, Karnataka
Rammanohar Reddy, Economic & Political Weekly, Mumbai
Ranjan Solomon, Badayl/Alternatives, GOA
Romila Thapar, Academician
Roselle Solomon, Counselor, Regina Mundi High School, Goa
S. Hasan Kamal, South Asians for Unity, Atlanta, GA, USA
Sadanand Menon – journalist, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Saheli Women’s Resource Centre
Sandeep Pandey Socialist Party
Sarika Shrivastava (NFIW, Madhya Pradesh)
Satish Deshpande, academician, Delhi
Satya Sivaraman, Journalist
Shabnam Hashmi, social activist, Anhad
Shankar Singh, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS)
Shariq Siddiqui Photography professional
Shashank Kela, Writer, Chennai
Shivani Taneja, Educationist, Bhopal, M.P.
Siddharth Varadarajan, journalist, Delhi
Sofiya Khan, social activist, Gujarat
Sohail Hashmi, filmmaker, Delhi
Soumya Dutta, Convenor -Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha, India
Subhash Gatade, New Socialist Initiative
Sukla Sen, social activist, EKTA (Committee for Communal Amity), Mumbai
Sumit Sarkar, Retired professor of History, University of Delhi
Suvrat Raju, International Centre for Theoretical Sciences (Tata Institute of Fundamental Research), Bangalore
Syeda Hameed, former member, Planning Commission
T I Siddiqui Retd bank executive
Tanika Sarkar, Retired professor of History, JNU.
Tushar A. Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi Foundation, Maharashtra.
Uma V Chandru, Activist, Bangalore
Varghese Manimala
Vineet Tiwari (Gen. Secretary, Madhya Pradesh PWA)
Vipin K. Tripathi, Sadbhav Mission
Viranjeet Sandhu, student
Walter Fernanes, former director, North Eastern Social Research Centre, Guwahati
Waqar Kazi, social activist, Gujarat
Wilfred Dcosta, Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF), New Delhi
WSS (Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression)
Zakia Soman Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan
Zoya Hasan, academician, JNU